Cythera Hintbook



  • There was some talk about the Cythera Hintbook a few days ago on #cythera so I thought I’d gather some information about it. I didn’t really find anything new, but I thought I’d organize the info a bit and I need to get Redline off my most active list anyway. ;)

    This Ambrosia FAQ page is probably the most relevant and important information on it, thanks to Wizard for finding this one. Although this page is rather old, the line

    Quote

    The Cythera Hintbook is now out of print, but if you would like a copy, contact us, and we'll see what we can do for you

    is particularly interesting.

    I searched the boards for any mention of it and found very few results, but I did find a couple that were interesting. This topic seems to indicate that the hintbook primarily focuses on how to beat the game, although the FAQ page mentioned it listing items, characters, maps, etc. Meanwhile this post says that it lists the three spells that mysteriously disappeared in a late prerelease (Closing the Veil, Removing the Veil, Clairvoyance).

    As I said, there’s nothing really new there, but it is somewhat interesting. There’s extremely little information about it online, a Google search for “Cythera hintbook” comes up with only two results.



  • I contacted customer service about it a few days ago. They still had a few hintbooks in the basement, so they've mailed me 2 copies (one is for Wizzy, he said he wanted one too). I'm curious to see what all is in there, so looking forward to getting it ^_^



  • DUDE! I totally want one!

    How much are they?

    This post has been edited by Two Jacks : 27 January 2011 - 11:16 PM



  • According to the ad that came with the game, they're $10, but it seems that they're not really selling them anymore. The customer service rep I talked to just wanted to make sure I'd registered the game. So, I guess if we want to financially support Cythera, we'll just have to buy more licenses! (Actually, in my recent re-installations of Cythera, I read the license agreement which says we agree to buy a separate license for each computer it's played on.... oops.)



  • I guess Blinky's gonna get fed more chocolate.



  • Seeing as they are not being sold anymore (and thus Ambrosia makes no profit from them), 453 or Wizard could scan the entire thing and post it here… ;)



  • @breadworldmercy453_bot, on 27 January 2011 - 11:06 AM, said in Cythera Hintbook:

    I contacted customer service about it a few days ago. They still had a few hintbooks in the basement, so they've mailed me 2 copies (one is for Wizzy, he said he wanted one too). I'm curious to see what all is in there, so looking forward to getting it ^_^

    Thank you for remembering me! That was very nice of you :D

    I'm also really curious to see what the Hintbook looks like, as well as see how detailed it is. My guess is, it will have nothing over Slayer's Guide, but there may be some interesting information in it, like the information about those three spells Buzzzzy mentioned. Those must have been removed very late in the game, so to speak, since they also appear in the Cythera Documentation as I recall.

    This post has been edited by The Wizard : 29 January 2011 - 05:20 PM



  • The hintbooks arrived last night, & they're awesome :D I dropped yours off at the post office this morning, Wizzy, so you ought to get it in a few days.

    Prepare for a giant post from me reviewing the hintbook! (Well, there's nothing groundbreaking, but I still think it's really cool ^_^)

    This post has been edited by BreadWorldMercy453 : 29 January 2011 - 05:43 PM



  • ’Tis a shame the replicate spell isn’t real. ;)



  • I wasn't expecting a lot when I ordered the Cythera hintbook. It's actually a lot cooler than I expected. Overall if you need help beating the game, I think Slayer's Guide is better. It contains basically the same stuff, and Slayer's Guide is easier to navigate. However, there are a few minor details in the hintbook's spoilers that aren't in Slayer's Guide (like the order to click the buttons in Maayti or to pull the levers in that workshop under Cademia).

    There's also a number of maps in the hintbook. The maps aren't just the Omen's map type, but the actual screenshot type. Unfortunately, the maps are in black-and-white and are too dark to see very well at all.

    Also the hintbook has more typos than I can count. It misspells characters' names as often as it correctly spells them. And occasionally just has trivial inaccuracies. It even says the fake Pelagon is Omen, which is contrary to what the game says. I can't remember if the hintbook ever uses the word "Undine," it always seemed to mistakenly call them Seldane or Seldine. I wonder if possibly the name Undine was a late decision? I remember Ursylph says the Seldane used Tavara as a puppet, when I think they meant the Undine did...

    The hintbook says you can buy pan-pipes from Tlepolemus, but when I tried this, he just kept procrastinating. I really don't think it's possible to get pipes from him.

    Anyway, the first thing in the book was a little history book written by Anisa. It says a few things about Cythera that I didn't already know. I'm sure some of these things were mentioned in the game, I just didn't notice:
    -Cythera has different stars than Thera and two small moons.
    -The years on Cythera are shorter, but they never determined how much shorter.
    -Something in the land (Cythera) caused greater longevity.
    -The line of mountains that divide Cythera down the middle are called the Titan's Spine Mountains.
    -It is said that one cannot find LKH unless Alaric wishes it.
    -Although Cythera didn't have the gods they worshipped, the Theran priests initially led Cythera and the first Tyrant was one of the priests.

    The history book had some dates that we're missing from Dusk's timeline:
    -005: Founding of Cademia
    -079: Death of the first Tyrant (at approximately age 100)
    -134: Fortification of Odemia
    -160: Death of second Tyrant
    -194: The start of the Cult of the Scylla
    -204: Cult of Scylla destroyed

    The history book goes on to list the popularities of the six ruling houses in the four major cities of Cythera. It says it was written in 910, so some 8-9 years before the game took place. I don't know how to copy the chart, but here's what it said:
    -Odemia: 40-Nicander, 15-Dodona, 35-Atussa
    -Catamarca: 40-Strymon, 35-Dodona, 15-Atussa
    -Kosha: 10-Nicander, 10-Strymon, 70-Comana
    -Cademia: 10-Nicander, 15-Strymon, 35-Comana, 30-Attis

    At one point the book refers to Opheltius as Himation, but it never mentions Himation again. Maybe Opheltius wore a himation & got that nickname? :)

    The book gives the names of some characters whose names are not listed on Slayer's guide. These names could probably be found using savefile hacking, but I haven't figured out how to do that yet (not for lack of trying!).
    -Deiphobus is the "guard of the warehouse in Cademia," I assume it means in House Comana
    -Laomedon is the meat-seller in Cademia
    -Ilus is the fruit-seller
    -Theano is the cheese-seller
    -Ennomus is the bum in Kosha who sells you the key to the Second Tyrant's tomb
    -Aeneas was the ruffian spy in LandKing Hall
    -Erechtheus, Lycurgus, Rhesus, & Thamyris are the wimpy miners, but I don't know which name goes to which portrait.

    The book lists all the magic spells & how much mana each one takes. We already knew it listed the three lost spells:
    -Closing the Veil: This spell will cause an item to no longer be visible, hidden from the world behind the Veil. 10 mana
    -Removing the Veil: This spell will undo 'Closing the Veil,' causing objects to no longer be invisible. 10 mana.
    -Clairvoyance: This spell allows the caster to see partially through walls. 12 mana

    That Clairvoyance sounds pretty cool, I wonder what it amounted to...

    But did you know that in addition to the three lost spells, there were five lost potions?
    -Hurting Potion: Black. This potion will cause a character internal injuries.
    -Poison Potion: Green, made from snake fangs. This potion is poisonous to the drinker.
    -Confusion Potion: Yellow (gray), made from grapes. This potion will confuse a character.
    -Awaken Potion: Red, made from taconite pellets. This will awaken a character.
    -Sleep Potion: Cyan (brown). This will make a character sleepy.

    Don't ask me what yellow gray or brown cyan are. Or where to find snake fangs or taconite pellets. Or what's the use of an Awaken potion when the book already listed the Free Motion Potion, which cures both sleep & paralysis.

    And besides the three lost spells and five lost potions, there is also a LOST SERVANT!
    -Peirithous, a servant in Odemia.
    That's all that's said about him! Pretty mysterious, huh? Personally, I believe he's the dead guy hiding in the north-west corner of every zone.

    Thus concludes my review & summary of the Cythera Hintbook. ^_^



  • @breadworldmercy453_bot, on 29 January 2011 - 09:43 PM, said in Cythera Hintbook:

    Also the hintbook has more typos than I can count. It misspells characters' names as often as it correctly spells them.

    It must have been infected with TwoJacks syndrome when it arrived. :D

    @breadworldmercy453_bot, on 29 January 2011 - 09:43 PM, said in Cythera Hintbook:

    The book lists all the magic spells & how much mana each one takes. We already knew it listed the three lost spells:
    -Closing the Veil: This spell will cause an item to no longer be visible, hidden from the world behind the Veil. 10 mana
    -Removing the Veil: This spell will undo 'Closing the Veil,' causing objects to no longer be invisible. 10 mana.
    -Clairvoyance: This spell allows the caster to see partially through walls. 12 mana

    That Clairvoyance sounds pretty cool, I wonder what it amounted to...

    I’m guessing it just allowed you to see other parts of the map without having to open doors or look through windows.

    @breadworldmercy453_bot, on 29 January 2011 - 09:43 PM, said in Cythera Hintbook:

    But did you know that in addition to the three lost spells, there were five lost potions?
    -Hurting Potion: Black. This potion will cause a character internal injuries.
    -Poison Potion: Green, made from snake fangs. This potion is poisonous to the drinker.
    -Confusion Potion: Yellow (gray), made from grapes. This potion will confuse a character.
    -Awaken Potion: Red, made from taconite pellets. This will awaken a character.
    -Sleep Potion: Cyan (brown). This will make a character sleepy.

    Don't ask me what yellow gray or brown cyan are. Or where to find snake fangs or taconite pellets. Or what's the use of an Awaken potion when the book already listed the Free Motion Potion, which cures both sleep & paralysis.

    And besides the three lost spells and five lost potions, there is also a LOST SERVANT!
    -Peirithous, a servant in Odemia.
    That's all that's said about him! Pretty mysterious, huh? Personally, I believe he's the dead guy hiding in the north-west corner of every zone.

    This is interesting, seems like a lot of stuff to remove in a late beta…



  • Awesome summary 453! But I demand pics!



  • Thanks for looking into the availability of the hintbook and for sending Wizard a copy, 453 :) . It contains quite a bit of information I find interesting.

    @breadworldmercy453_bot, on 29 January 2011 - 09:43 PM, said in Cythera Hintbook:

    he history book had some dates that we're missing from Dusk's timeline:
    -005: Founding of Cademia
    -079: Death of the first Tyrant (at approximately age 100)
    -134: Fortification of Odemia
    -160: Death of second Tyrant
    -194: The start of the Cult of the Scylla
    -204: Cult of Scylla destroyed

    I find the history in the hintbook fascinating enough to say that it probably warrants a topic of its own. To the timeline, I would add a brief description of the events between 216 A.T. and 219 A.T. There was apparently some degree of conflict in Cythera before the House system was organized.

    @breadworldmercy453_bot, on 29 January 2011 - 09:43 PM, said in Cythera Hintbook:

    The book gives the names of some characters whose names are not listed on Slayer's guide. These names could probably be found using savefile hacking, but I haven't figured out how to do that yet (not for lack of trying!).
    -Deiphobus is the "guard of the warehouse in Cademia," I assume it means in House Comana
    -Laomedon is the meat-seller in Cademia
    -Ilus is the fruit-seller
    -Theano is the cheese-seller
    -Ennomus is the bum in Kosha who sells you the key to the Second Tyrant's tomb
    -Aeneas was the ruffian spy in LandKing Hall
    -Erechtheus, Lycurgus, Rhesus, & Thamyris are the wimpy miners, but I don't know which name goes to which portrait.

    It is indeed possible to determine characters names (assuming all characters actually have names in the game) via savefile hacking by changing character alignment (i.e. allying the character to you). Deiphobus is indeed the guard in House Comana. I had meant to edit that into Slayer's Guide at some point but had never gotten around to it. Actually, it might be best to edit all the newly discovered names in. (I can probably match each miner's name to each portrait, but I'd need to find their character information first.)

    EDIT:
    I have successfully matched each miner's name to his portrait (see the attached screenshot).
    Attached File Miners.png (51.96K)
    Number of downloads: 8



  • Thank you very much for posting this info. Many years ago, I asked about this hint book, but nobody had any info. Now, there is plenty. One day, maybe there will be a scan of it available online. That day, if it comes, will be a glorious day.

    I miss Cythera.

    I had to log in (it's been years!) to see your picture. This cannot be forgiven. I am kidding. But for convenience, and to make sure the picture never goes anywhere, I have uploaded it as well:

    Posted Image

    This post has been edited by Seldane : 02 February 2011 - 05:52 AM



  • Seldane! I have missed you! I'm glad the picture forced you to log in :P

    As for scanning in the entire hintbook, I'm not sure that's okay. It is copyrighted, even though Ambrosia isn't selling them anymore. Maybe they intend to print & sell them again when Cythera X is released (& any intention of developing Cythera X, I think, is a good thing).



  • Considering the considerable amount of inaccuracies, I doubt that the hintbook will be redistributed without a little proofreading. You could contact Ambrosia about it if you want, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t hurting them at all to scan it. You can always remove it if it goes back into print anyway.

    EDIT: I almost forgot, I missed you as well Seldane, welcome back! (even if only temporarily)

    This post has been edited by Buzzzzy : 02 February 2011 - 04:56 PM



  • Many, many thanks to you, BW, for sending me that hintbook!

    I've looked through the hintbook a little bit, and I have a few observations to share. First of all, the design is very minimal. . . very minimal. The front cover says "How to Solve the Riddle of the Land King" with the standard Cythera Logo centered underneath. Everything is printed in black and white. The paper quality is okay; it is nicer than standard printer paper but not as heavy as cardstock. The print is, unfortunately, pretty low quality. Whatever printed these had a low dpi capability. Inside the book, it reads more like a text document than anything else. There isn't much formatting to speak of, no page designs / background images, but there is at least pagination and chapter division.

    Enough with the aesthetics of the book, the first chapter is, as BW and Selax mentioned, a history book by Master Anissa. It is actually a pretty interesting read, although it doesn't have that much information we didn't already know. I believe Selax has some plans to make another topic concerning this portion of the book in the near future, for those of you curious to know more about it.

    Chapter two is the maps portion. The maps are from the overhead in-game view, and very neat. Unfortunately, they suffer from the low print quality that affects the rest of the book. They are often too small/dark/splotchy to use effectively. This part of the book would really have benefited from color, or at least a higher quality print. The maps include all the cities, most of the caves, and some other places like the Strongholds. Many of the caves have been forced onto the same page, which makes these maps completely unusable. They are tiny. A lot of places are not included, such as the ruins, Cult of Scylla, and Iron Mine exterior. There are higher quality maps available.

    Chapter three is the hints section. This is a small portion of the book, it gives a few words of guidance that help you figure out what to do without any spoilers.

    Chapter four is the spoilers section. The layout is virtually identical to Chapter three, only it gives a little more detailed information about how to complete the quests. It is, however, much less detailed than Slayer's Guide.

    Then there are three appendices. Appendix A is the cast list. This portion is mostly complete, but I did notice the list did not include "Jinrai" so it may be missing others. Appendix B is the item list. Far, far, far from being a complete items list as the sales page for the hintbook used to claim. Instead it only lists a few magical items that you'll encounter in some quests and such. It has the Sword of Heroes, the Crystal Balls, and the Crolna, but it doesn't have other items like the Fur Cloak, the Gauntlets, or the Odd Helmet. It doesn't list any regular game items. Ooshmaster's list of items in his quest to collect everything topic (I'll let someone else find the link to it, if no one minds :p ) is much more extensive and complete. Appendix C is the Spell and Potion list. BW has already discussed everything there really is to say about these lists. I do like the fact that the amount of magic each spell uses is told; that's nice. I do wish that the official damage dealt by offensive spells was given, but I guess we can't have everything. . . :(

    One thing to note, BW mentioned that the hintbook doesn't use the word "Undine." I agree; I can't find it anywhere in the book. But. . . the book did make clear distinctions between the words "Seldane" and "Seldine" in their usages. House Comana is listed as secretly being allied with the "Seldine" while all mentions of the Seldane, such as their underground city, the character information, etc. , have been used correctly. As far as I can tell, at the time of the writing of the hintbook, the Earth was Seldane and the Sea was Seldine. I can see why this had to be changed for the game; because the game only uses the first four letters of a word to distinguish it, there would be no way for characters to give specific information about the Seldane or Undine without distinct beginnings.

    And yes, there are a ton of typos and misspellings. Incorrect information abounds! All in all, it's a good start, but the book seems more like a rough draft to me than a finished product. It actually had some potential, I think. It needed some proofreading/reworking, some color/design, and a better printing/production, but it is still very interesting in its current form.

    As I read through it more, I may discover more information that is post-worthy. In a couple days, I'll try to take some pictures and put them online. I'd be reluctant to scan the whole thing because the inside front page clearly says © David Dunham et al. Ambrosia actually needs to release the original document this was printed from online. They aren't making any more profit off of it, as Buzzzzy said, but I'll leave that in their ballpark whether they want it released in entirety or not.

    This post has been edited by The Wizard : 03 February 2011 - 03:32 AM



  • Regarding the black and white low dpi printing, remember this thing was probably made in early 1999, if not before then. Common technology then wasn't as advanced as it is now, and printing the entire thing in color would've made the book more expensive. At just $10, I don't think the hint book was a bestseller. Now, imagine how many would've been sold if it was priced even higher.



  • You're right. I was a little hard on them; I'm sure they did the best printing job they could with what they could afford.

    But you're not going to be able to convince me that some of the typos couldn't have been found :p



  • What makes you so sure the typos aren't the names in the game? ;)


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